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Published 7-23-10


Eric Bailey, James Allen


Dear Readers,

As I write this, funeral services for an excellent human being will take place tomorrow
(7/23/10). I would call Ray Murphy Jr. a hero instead of "excellent," but I doubt he would agree. While I never met him he's the finest role model I've heard of in a long time, and
I wept tears of profound admiration when I read his story. It made me think of the times
I've whined when my MS symptoms flared, but no more, I believe, because of Ray.

Ray graphically proved that our physical circumstances have no power to control the joy,
richness and meaning of our lives...unless we allow them. For 40 years he demonstrated
a stunning refusal to accept victimhood. His example will uplift and strengthen your heart.

May Ray Murphy Jr. be a giant beacon of inspiration in your life. He is in mine.

- Lisa

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Ray Murphy Jr.
Ray Murphy, Jr. in 1968
Born October 4, 1946 -  Died July 20, 2010


Article from the Tulsa World newspaper
Tulsa World Sports Writer


                                                  Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ray Murphy Jr., a former Oklahoma State and Hale High School
graduate paralyzed in a 1970 wrestling match, died early
Tuesday morning at his Tulsa home. He was 63.

... Murphy made the OSA wrestling team as a walk-on in his junior
year after winning an intramural match and gaining the attention of
coach Myron Roderick. As a senior, he was co-captain of the 1969
national championship team and placed second in the NCAA Tourna-
ment at 145 pounds. He was a two-time All-American for the Cowboys.

Murphy suffered a spinal cord injury during a U.S. Wrestling Federation
freestyle tournament in Stillwater on April 11, 1970. He was hurt trying
to brace himself with his head during a throw and was paralyzed.
He lived 40 years without the use of his arms or legs.

Murphy bravely battled his condition and received the 1998
Medal of Courage from the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Daryl Murphy said on Tuesday afternoon that he had
always been proud of his younger brother's courage.

He made the comment to his mom that if this had to happen to
somebody, he'd rather it be him than somebody else, Daryl
Murphy said. "He told her, 'I can handle it."

"Ray was an amazing guy," OSU associate athletic director Dave Martin
Martin said. "The thing about him ... he was a guy who couldn't
breathe on his own, couldn't walk, but you'd go see him and
ask how was doing (and he'd say) 'I'm doing great.'"

"He was a very uplifting person to the people who came to see him.
He was never down or felt sorry about his circumstances."

... Murphy was actively involved in the development of sip-and-
puff technology, a method that allows a person to sip and puff
into a straw in a code to send commands to mechanical devices
to do such things like adjust lighting, change television
channels or type on a keyboard.

Murphy earned a computer science degree in 1988, was nationally
recognized as the Handicapped Person of the Year in 1989 and
named the 1990 Citizen of the Year by the Oklahoma Rehabilitation
Association. He was employed by ConocoPhillips and other cor-
porations as a computer programmer to help advance other
handicapped-assisting technologies.

Murphy was at peace during the past two weeks, his older brother
said. On Monday, the hospital released him to be home.

... "He knew he wanted to be home," Daryl Murphy said.
He had fought this for 40 years, but he knew his time
was up. He was at peace and comfortable." ...

The Last Word:

Circumstance does not make the man,
it reveals him to himself.

James Allen (1864-1912)
British author, poet, philosopher






























































Utterly Random Bonus Quote:

Where reason cannot wade,
there faith may swim.

Thomas Watson (c. 1620 - 1686)
English Puritan preacher and author

(Note from Lisa: There are several
Thomas Watson's. I believe I've
attributed this quote to the
proper one.)


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